Historical references

Does anyone know who would hold records relating to the
Air Defence Cadet Corps???

Cranwell and Hendon both say no

I’d always start with the National Archives.

Failing that King’s College London have a fairly substantial military archive.

Maybe the Air Historical Branch at Northolt can help?

Old local newspaper archives would be a good place, our local library has our ones microfiched.
The national archive at Kew and county archives might have information.
Contact the sqns and see if they have anything.
Put an article in the local press to see if anyone has anything. Some of the original cadets might still be around, into their 90s, but you never know.

I remember asking HQAC about my squadron’s history and got the sound of wind with pictures of tumbleweed blowing through empty streets. They didn’t even have a list of squadron commanders. Bloody useless.

My old sqn was an ADCC unit and the committee had minutes and newspaper articles going back decades and the OC and former staff and committee did a really good history for the Corps’ 50th but when I went to a 70th squadron anniversary bash, I asked the current OC about the history and showed very little interest. It seems he didn’t like people harping on about the squadron’s past and showed little interest in the photos me and some of my old mates took along. If there was ever a time that I wished I’d kept track of the one I had. All the old people had either died or moved away in the interim.

Thanks all
Kew Gardens say that they don’t hold that kind of information.
I will keep digging

I started researching my squadrons history going back to 1938. My squadron has a huge archive of old documents and news paper clippings.

I started with some of the main points about our history, locations, strength, even found out we were our own wing with three squadrons under us!!

I’m interested in finding out our squadron commanders, so if you do find anything would you mind sharing.

If you’re interested in looking at our archive DM me and I’ll get you the link.

My sqn goes back to 1939.When I took over command I found buried (literally) on the floor of the stores a visitors book from 1941 with Air Commodore Chamiers signature in it from his visit to the sqn at that time.There were also lots of pics too.

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Certainly when we were looking at the history of our CCF RAF unit (was 1056 Sqn ATC from 1941-48) we found local newspapers the best source - although some sources contradicted each other (particularly the magazines of the schools involved).

(PS ‘Cranwell says no…’ comes out in my head like ‘Computer says no…’ and could indeed be a new catchphrase)

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Try doing an FOI to HQAC. Often these sort of places will just say they don’t have the info because they can’t be bothered to check. But if you FOI them they have to actually look.

Yes. Nothing better than tieing up people’s time and resources on a pointless FOI!!

Pretty sure this is in CROs somewhere and says “we don’t hold info on this stuff”.

A better starting point will be your local paper, library archives or similar. There’s also a Corps historian who might be able to point in some other directions.

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so does mine :wink:

Thanks All some points to start with,
I know a few squadrons who went down the FOI route and found NOTHING prior to Feb 1941, in fact HQAC records are such a waste if you look on what do they know, 1 sqn was formed from an ADCC yet HQAC records for them don’t start until the 70s!!!

does anyone have details for the Corps historian??

There have been two books published:

  1. “Challenge in the Air: Story of the Air Training Corps” by Bryan Phipott now out of print but can be found in second-hand online bookshops search for ISBN 10: 085344045X / ISBN 13: 9780853440451.

  2. “Horizons: The History of the Air Cadets” by Wing Commander H. R. ‘Ray’ Kidd, ISBN: 9781848846548 available from most book shops.

Yes, but NB for example the information in ‘Horizons’ for 1056 Sqn was not very accurate. No disrespect but he covered a lot of ground and tended to believe the first source he read.

Sorry but I didn’t see if anyone had answered if they have any contact details for the corps historian

I’m not sure there is an official one, my attempts to find out about the squadrons I have been on has relied on local newspapers (but this comes down to people taking the time to do things) and talking to people, Wing, Region and Corps aren’t interested.
What we have had is a collection of people who have looked into the Corps’ history and published over priced limited interest coffee table / reference library fair. I might buy one if I see it on a 20p jumble stall.

Came across this forum completely by chance. I am a history PhD candidate working on the Air League and Navy League in interwar Britain. The chapter I am currently working on looks at the ADCC. The minute book of the ADCC is held by the Air League (who are currently moving offices), but if you get in touch with them I am sure they would let you look at it. The Air League minute books also have information on the ADCC. There is a lot of material at the National Archives on the formation of the ADCC and the British Library has the Air Review (the Air League’s journal), which has loads on the ADCC, as well as the Air Defence Cadet Corps Gazette (the ADCC’s journal).

I’d be really interested if anyone could send me any information on ADCC squadrons on a local level.

That’s great to hear as the national archives said they don’t have this information.

If you pm me your email address i will look out the info I have and send it to you

Hi there, not quite sure how to pm you so if you could message me that would be much appreciated!

Yes, TNA have lots of material: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C2631410 is particularly useful in terms of the formation of the ADCC. They have other material on the purpose of the ADCC upon the outrbreak of the Second World War and on financial contributions to the Corps. The ADCC minute book at the Air League is obviously useful from an organisational/administrative perspective, but some of TNA material gives much more information on the relationship between the Air League/ADCC and the Air Ministry so hopefully it should be of some use to you.